Claire Sulmers is the CEO and Founder of direct-to-consumer fashion company Fashion Bomb Daily, an author, speaker, marketing manager, social media expert, and consultant. Her work ushered in a movement towards journalism for under-served communities interested in African-American and Latino styles.
In addition to leading Fashion Bomb Daily’s development, she has written extensively for platforms like Vogue Italia, Vogue Paris, and ESSENCE Magazine and published the book “The Bomb Life.”
The Importance Of Community, Authenticity, And Adaptability With Pioneer, Influencer, And CEO Claire Sulmers
A Trailblazer in Multicultural Fashion Content
When asked about challenges she encountered initially, Claire Sulmers shares, “My issue has always been one of access. When I say access, I specifically mean New York Fashion Week and wanting to partake in all the runway shows and interview celebrities and designers and not being able to find a way in.”
When she was getting started, Claire used to crash different fashion shows, a frowned upon practice, but one that got her in the door and created a way for her to sit at the table.
She adds, “I didn’t take no for an answer. Really, that’s the attitude, and sometimes it can rub people the wrong way, but for me, it was either I allowed this external person to tell me what I could and couldn’t do, or I just take the ball in my own hands and determine my own path.”
Later, she began following the idea of going where she is celebrated and not just tolerated. She now works with designers who see the value in her mission.
Adapting Content for Many Platforms
Instagram is her preferred platform and main hub currently. She keeps her captions short, snappy, and poignant to elicit responses from her readers.
On TikTok, her approach is similar, but she leans more on the younger members of her team to help her grow on this platform.
Regarding social media strategy for different platforms, she says, “We’re kind of meeting people where they are depending on the platform.”
Advice for Emerging Creators
Personal branding is critical for all creators, especially those getting started.
Claire’s number one advice for aspiring creators is to give yourself grace. She shares that it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the massive number of platforms and the pressure to be on all of them, but she recommends going where the people are.
She shares, “If I were starting off now, I might have started with TikTok because that seems to be the platform that’s growing the fastest, where people can have the largest organic reach… Focus on where you feel the strongest.”
If Claire could give her past self advice, she would recommend asking for help sooner. Your network can provide many resources and help with the loneliness many creators feel.
Claire says, “It’s okay to ask for help. It’s not easy, but it’s okay.”
Expand your team by taking on interns, hiring contractors, or welcoming contributors to your blog or social media as you grow.
The Importance of Community to Younger Generations
As a business owner and influencer, Claire Sulmers offers a unique perspective on the importance of community online, especially to younger generations.
She feels that humans want to be seen and heard more than ever.
She explains, “I think the way forward for any company is to listen to and interact with them [your audience] and see what they want and answer their questions. Get up in the comments and be interactive. They call it social media because you’re supposed to interact. I think the companies of my mother’s or older generations were kind of an ivory tower and spewed out content they liked.”
Companies need to interact with audiences and remember that these are real people with a need to be heard.
Claire also recommends always expressing your appreciation to your audience, whether you’re a brand owner or an influencer, for the opportunities you have because of them.
Working with Brands as an Influencer
Claire Sulmers has worked with major brands like Toyota and Verizon and stresses the importance of only working with brands you use and believe in. Organic collaborations are some of the most authentic and successful partnerships she’s participated in.
She shares, “Those are the partnerships that have better results because it turns out more authentic…. I think audiences are getting smarter, and they just want to see real content and authentic partnerships.”
Transitioning to TV and Movies
Claire Sulmers shares that there are limits to social media. You can only grow so much in terms of followers, and there may even be certain social media algorithms that suppress some content.
With TV, Claire feels she can make a much larger impact.
She says, “I just got off a call with a producer about documenting our fashion show that’s coming up, and that’s exciting. It’s getting behind the scenes, talking to the designers, capturing the day, frantic energy, and all that. I think for me, when it comes to TV, as long as it focuses on the business, I’m okay with that.”
With that said, Claire’s mission is always to ensure her content, TV or not, serves other people. Everybody loves seeing a cute outfit picture, but being able to give to your community and uplift other multicultural designers continues to be her primary goal.
Claire’s Upcoming Book
Claire’s first book, “The Bomb Life,” focused on how she started as a blogger, tips for monetizing the business, and creating the life you dream of.
She reveals that her second book focuses on how giving back to others elevates your mission and goals. This book launch will be available in the next few weeks.
Authenticity in Creator and Brand Collaborations
Influencing is known today as a lucrative business, but when Claire started blogging, she started it as a passion project with no idea that it would evolve into something much bigger.
Today, it can be challenging for creators to say no to lucrative brand collaborations, especially if they rely on brand sponsorships as a large chunk of their income.
Claire Sulmers recommends, “If you can, set that aside for a second and focus on what you love and creating something that you believe in and are passionate about that fulfills you and serves others. I think if you can keep that at the forefront of your mind before you think about monetizing it, that’s the way forward to maintain a genuine outlook.”
Claire Sulmers would love to be known as a change maker who pioneered creating a space for undervalued and overlooked communities who deserve to feel seen, heard, and cherished.
She adds, “I hope I created a way for those who might not have seen a way into the fashion industry. I hope that’s my legacy.”
Amy DeYoung is a freelance blog post writer covering influencer marketing and business topics. As the daughter of two business owners, she's been fascinated by all things business from a young age, which led her to graduate from college with a bachelor's degree in business. When she's not typing away, she spends her time reading nonfiction books and mystery novels, baking scrumptious desserts, and playing with her dog.